arizona cactus[With apologies, I was in-flight and post-flight for much of the game today, so I can’t offer much in the way of “oh, hey, I noticed this thing when I was watching.”]

The Cubs won again today, beating the mighty-except-it’s-just-Spring-Training Dodgers 7-5 at Camelback Ranch. Not that it matters, but the Cubs are now just two games under .500 on the Spring after the long, winless start.

  • Jake Arrieta gave up those five Dodgers runs over his four innings of work. He walked two and allowed seven hits, including a homer (a three-run job to Joc Pederson). From the sound of things, Arrieta’s stuff was a little flat, and he also suffered from a couple unlucky bounces behind him. He struck out five in his four innings, so it couldn’t have been all bad. Just as it was with Jon Lester earlier in the week, have zero concerns about this outing.
  • In relief of Arrieta, C.J. Edwards came in, and I can’t wait to watch the replay. He gave up two hits over two scoreless innings, but didn’t walk anyone and didn’t strike anyone out. The late movement on Edwards’ fastball makes him just as likely to get weak contact as swings and misses, so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that, although all six outs came on balls in play, it wasn’t like he didn’t have good stuff going.
  • Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Joe Ortiz followed with scoreless innings of their own. While I’m not sure Ortiz is going to make the Cubs’ bullpen at this point, the Brett-sized lefty has put in a good Spring,* and could be among the top lefty options to fill in after Opening Day, should the need arise.
  • It sounds like Albert Almora was looking pretty good today as a last minute replacement for Matt Szczur, who is recovering from his wall collision yesterday. Almora had a couple doubles.
  • Another couple hits for Tommy La Stella and Jorge Soler, who had a rocket-shot double that I’m told I’m going to need to watch.
  • It’s still Spring Training, but it’s been such an important story the last few years, I’m going to start to monitor: the Cubs struck out 10 times for the game (bearable), but walked 0 times (terrible).

*(I kid about the height. I actually have an inch on Ortiz’s listed height, so that makes me pretty awesome.)